Looking for advice on non-lethal methods to repel or prevent rabbits from backyard gardens. I am looking for methods that are non-toxic to wild birds or pets in the area.
Try spreading the urine/feces of predator animals in and around the garden area. For example, having a dog around who regularly “marks his territory” around the garden or leaves feces is usually very effective. Another option that I personally have found very effective is using human urine. People are often put off by this idea, but human urine is completely safe and can serve as a good fertilizer as well. When the rabbits smell it around the plants, they will feel threatened and will move on to a different area.
Another option that I haven’t tried for rabbits but that has worked well for deer is sprinkling shavings of Coast soap (because it has a strong scent) on and around the plants. Just get a bar of soap and use a knife to shave off little slivers onto the garden. I don’t know the environmental impact of soap, but I assume it can’t be too harmful since we use it on ourselves (though looking into that would probably be worthwhile). The smell of the soap disrupts the attractive smell of the plants to the animals. After a heavy rain, the soap will need to be reapplied.